Letters to the Editor

Retired teacher reflects on the old days

Call me an old fogie if you will, but as I recall the following, it sure beats what children are going through today.

When I started in elementary school (K-6) in 1943, I never had to buy pencils, crayons, paper, glue, scissors, etc. The system provided them. And we didn’t lug around heavy backpacks on our growing bodies. The only thing I remember carrying to and from school was a lunch box and a library book.

I don’t recall ever having homework, and yet we learned basic arithmetic: long division, fractions and decimals. We learned all about the explorers — Cortez, Pizarro, Magellan, Francis Drake, Balboa, etc., which was always fascinating. We knew all the patriotic songs. We put on plays and musicals, and teachers read to us on a regular basis.

We went out to play at recess and after lunch had P.E., music and art classes. During the school day, we still had plenty of time for teaching and learning with occasional skills check-ups. And the only end-of-the-year test given was the Stanford Achievement Test.

Going to school was a joy, and at the end of the day, we went home to play outside.

I’m going to my 60th high school reunion this year and, again, as I look back, there were few dropouts because of the programs provided for all including: academic and AP classes for those headed for college, commercial for those going into the business world as administrative assistants, industrial for those going into skilled trades, and general for those in need of extra help in the basics. The school provided something for everyone, including the opportunity to participate in sports, journalism, orchestra and chorus.

Go figure — have things gotten better because of Lottery dollars, research and new ideas in education? I think not.

Chiropractors and orthopedists are going to have a heyday in years to come.

Carol Fegley Hieronymous,

retired teacher,

Pompano Beach

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